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Recipes for homemade dog and cat treats

Most commercial pet-treat brands manufacture products to high standards of safety and nutrition. Since treats often stay on store shelves and then at home for weeks, many by necessity include artificial preservatives (as well as artificial colors and flavors). And pets, just like humans, are better off keeping those ingredients out of their system.
Fortunately, you can create healthy treats in your own kitchen — and you needn’t be a professional chef. The following recipes are all simple, quick to make and use easy-to-find ingredients. Because none use preservatives, they will only stay fresh for a week.
DOGGY TRAIL MIX
Ingredients:
  • Boneless, skinless chicken
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Blueberries or cranberries
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Cut chicken into 1/2” thick cubes
  • Cut potato into 1/2” thick cubes
  • Slice carrots 1/2” thick
  • Arrange on a lightly coated cookie sheet (use non-stick cooking spray)
  • Bake 1 hour to dehydrate
  • Cool and divide into small plastic bags for easy carrying
 
 
CANINE COOKIES
Ingredients:
  • 6-oz jar of puréed beef baby food
  • 6-oz jar of spinach and peas*
  • 1 cup of wheat germ
  • 2 cups of nonfat dry milk
* It's okay to substitute other jar vegetables created for babies to eat. Do not select items with onions.
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix ingredients with a fork
  • Drop mixture onto a greased cookie sheet using a tablespoon
  • Bake for 10 minutes
  • Transfer cookies from oven to a cooling rack
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week
 
KITTY CRACKERS
Ingredients:
  • 6-oz can of tuna or salmon (do not drain)
  • 1/4-cup cornmeal
  • 3/4-cup flour
  • 1/3-cup water
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine ingredients in a bowl
  • Mix thoroughly by hand
  • Roll out the combined ingredients to a thickness of 1/4 inch
  • Score to cut into bite-size pieces
  • Place on cookie sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Allow to cool
  • Store in an airtight container for up to a week
 
CREATE YOUR OWN TREATS
If you decide to substitute ingredients in these recipes or improvise your own pet treats, know that some “people food” is not healthy for animals.
The do-not-feed list:
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Milk
  • Onions
  • Raw and undercooked meat, eggs and bones
  • Salt
  • Sugar substitutes
  • Yeast dough
 
Ingredients safe to use in moderation:
  • Boneless chicken
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Peanut butter
  • Spinach
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Unbleached wheat flour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Palm oil
  • Canola oil
  • Nonfat milk
  • Flaxseed meal
  • Corn starch
 
Just remember who gets to lick the spoon!

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